AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 60 Quasars
Poster, Wednesday, June 2, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[60.09] Observations of quasar hosts with the Lick Observatory Sodium Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics system

E. L. Gates (UCO/Lick Observatory), M. Lacy (Spitzer Science Center/Caltech), S. E. Ridgway (Johns Hopkins), W. H. de Vries (LLNL/UC-Davis)

We report on early results of a campaign to study the hosts of quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey using the sodium laser guide star (LGS) adaptive optics (AO) system at Lick Observatory. Two quasars at z<1 were observed in H band using a sodium laser beacon to perform the AO corrections and a faint natural guide star for the tip/tilt corrections. The PSF was synthesised from observations of both the on-axis guide star and a PSF star -- guide star pair chosen to have a similar separation and sky PA to those of the quasar -- guide star pair. Both direct PSF subtraction, and modelling of the host galaxy plus quasar image reveal host galaxies whose magnitudes and scale sizes are consistent with those obtained from HST/NICMOS observations of quasars between at similar redshifts. Using LGS AO, we will be able to study far larger samples of quasars between 0.5 < z < 2 than feasible with HST, and perform a statistical analysis of host properties as a function of quasar type and luminosity.

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